Archive for July 2018

Should You Pay for Childcare When You Work from Home?

Should You Pay for Childcare When You Work from Home?
Should You Pay for Childcare When You Work from Home?

Having children is an incredible experience. It is exciting and fulfilling, while at the same time being incredibly challenging. Trying to balance everything that is involved with being a parent is no easy feat.

Among the many decisions that you will need to make is how you are going to continue to make a living while caring for your kids. For those who work from home, this topic is especially tricky.

Working from home is great in many ways. Those who work at home are able to avoid a traditional commute, and they often enjoy more flexibility with regard to when their work gets done. Once kids are added to the equation, things can get harder to handle, however.

As every parent knows, trying to get work done while the kids are running around the house is no picnic.

So, the question at hand in this article is the following ? should you pay for childcare when you work from home? Let?s discuss.

An Added Expense

Obviously, the main downside to paying for childcare is the expense that will be added to your budget. In order to make it work financially, you?ll need to make enough money during that time to at least cover the cost of the childcare. And, of course, you don?t want to work for free. So, you should be making enough to come out ahead comfortably even after the childcare costs have been paid.

If your work from home arrangement is such that you earn less per hour than it will cost you to have the kids cared for by someone else, it will probably be best to simply watch the kids yourself and cut back or eliminate that work.

Can You Do Both?

When your kids are little, it is effectively impossible to both watch the kids properly and get any kind of meaningful work done. Little kids require near-constant attention, so focusing on a work task while making sure the kids are okay is probably not going to happen. You may be able to get some work done after the kids go to bed. That is, if there is any energy left at the end of the day. But, working during the day is a no-go.

This can change a bit as your kids get older. As they become more independent and able to entertain themselves for periods of time, you might be able to work without bringing in outside childcare. In the end, you will know your situation best. You will need to decide what makes sense for you and your family.

Remember, it doesn?t make any sense to work for free. And it certainly doesn?t make sense to lose money while you work. If you do decide to bring in childcare so you can work from home, be sure to do the math. This will confirm that you?ll be coming out well ahead in this situation.

If you work from home, do you pay for childcare? Why or why not?

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4 Smart Ways to Make 0% Financing Work for You

4 Smart Ways to Make 0% Financing Work for You

4 Smart Ways to Make 0% Financing Work for YouAt first, it sounds too good to be true. 0% financing basically means you can borrow money for free, and as you know, nothing comes free in this world. However, there are legitimate 0% interest deals out there to be had, especially when it comes to credit cards. Some card companies will offer these opportunities as a way to get you to sign up for their card, and you can definitely benefit if you use this chance wisely. It can go wrong, however, so it?s important to pay attention.

Let?s look at four ways in which 0% financing can work out nicely for your needs.

Knowing the Rules

One of the smartest things you can do in this situation is take a little time to learn the relevant rules of the card in question. Don?t simply see the stated APR of 0% and assume that everything which goes on the card will be interest-free.

How long does that interest-free period last? Does it apply to everything, or only to new purchases?

It might take a few minutes to read through the information that comes with your card. However, that would be time well spent. Your chances of making this opportunity work out for you depend greatly on your willingness to read the fine print.

Making a Plan

Often, 0% cards will be used for balance transfers. This is a way to pay down debt without having to spend money each month on interest charges. Before you decide to use such a plan, do some basic math to see if transferring your balance will be worth it in the end.

There is typically a balance transfer fee involved with going this route, so compare that expense to the savings of not paying interest for a period of time. Remember, that interest-free period is going to expire at some point, and you might not be able to pay off the entire balance before it does.

Don?t Use It Unnecessarily

The money you spend on a card which has a 0% interest rate is still money that has been spent. Sure, you may not have to pay interest on it for a period of time. However, that doesn?t mean it was free money.

If you use this opportunity to buy things that you wouldn?t have purchased otherwise, it will have been a waste. Only use 0% financing for things you actually need to buy or would have bought anyway even without the financing deal.

Monitor Your Credit Score

Constantly applying for new credit deals is not the best idea when it comes to the health of your credit score. As you shop around for 0% deals, make sure to avoid going overboard in the pursuit of an endless stream of 0% APRs.

Sure, it would be great to save a bit of money, but that will only be worth it is the savings are significant enough to warrant the credit score impact. Take all factors into account before taking any action.


Have you ever tried a balance transfer to save money on interest? What other financing offers have you tried?


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12 Tips to Keep Your Finances in Check Each Month of the Year

12 Tips to Keep Your Finances in Check Each Month of the YearYour finances should be managed and reviewed each month of the year. This will keep your budget, investments, and savings, healthy and up-to-date.

Follow these 12 tips to keep your finances in check each month of the year.

January: Focus on Your Goals

With the start of a new year likely comes new financial aspirations. Review the goals you achieved in the previous year and make a point to set new financial goals for the coming one. Furthermore, be sure to evaluate where you stand with any long-term goals as well.

February: Tax Preparation

Tax season is on the horizon come February. In order to give yourself, and your tax preparer, plenty of time, use this month to gather all tax documents, review deductions, and begin preparing your finances to pay taxes.

March: Spring Cleaning

With subscriptions abundant, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you pay for. Come March, review all of your monthly and recurring subscriptions and clean house. Get rid of the unnecessary and only keep what you truly use.

April: Create Tax Folders

As taxes get sent in to the IRS, now is a great time to keep yourself organized for next year. Create appropriate folders, electronic or paper, and organize all documents and forms from this year so you?re not scrambling in the year to come.

May: Focus on Saving

Saving is a vital part of keeping yourself financially healthy. Commit at least one month to focus more on savings and less on spending. With the start of a new season, May is a great time to reign your finances in and replenish savings.

June: Review Your Credit Score

While you shouldn?t check this on a daily basis, you should keep track of your credit score. Set a specific month or so to check you score and ensure you?re still in good credit standing. If not, you can use this as a jumping off point to improve it.

July: Evaluate Debt

Although you should keep track of your debt regularly, take the opportunity in July to reevaluate what you still owe. See if you can consolidate any debt and possibly reorganize your debt priorities so you know you?re paying off the one with the highest interest first.

August: Review Your Budget

Your budget shouldn?t stay static. Use August to do a complete revaluation and ensure each category is still applicable and that the amounts in varying categories still make sense. If not, shift some costs and values accordingly.

September: Evaluate Investments

Like expenses, some investments come and go. Come September review your portfolio and the previous years earnings. Decide if certain investments are still right for you and whether or not you should reallocate funds.

October: Set Limits

With the holidays coming up, now is the time to set aside a portion of your budget for holiday expenses. Set financial limits now to keep yourself in check during these extravagant months. At the start of the new year, you?ll be glad you don?t have extra debt.

November: Max Out Contributions

As the year begins to commence, now is the time to max out any retirement, investment, or health savings plan contributions you can and make the most of your financial savings.

December: Yearly Review

Before the start of another year review and examine all of your financial costs, savings, and investments from the previous year. See what went well and was beneficial and where you can make adjustments in the coming year.


Do you set aside time each month to review your finances? What steps do you take each month?


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What Does Financial Independence Mean? 3 Examples to Consider

What Does Financial Independence Mean? 3 Examples to Consider

What Does Financial Independence Mean? 3 Examples to ConsiderThe words ?financial independence? just sound good. Very few people are financially independent in a way that means they don?t have to think about money on a day to day basis. Even if you have a good job and a well-managed budget, you probably still have financial concerns that play some role in your day to day life.

But what does it even mean to be financially independent? We have listed three examples below to help you get your mind around this interesting topic.

The Ability to Leave

One example of financial independence is someone who has the ability to leave their current job without too much worry on the financial side of things. This person is not necessarily ?rich? by most definitions, but he or she has enough money to not panic if they go through a period without employment.

This is a great place to be, as you will have more freedom on the job than most other people. For instance, if you don?t like the direction that your position has been taken within the company, you can speak to your boss openly about what you would like to be doing.

If they don?t want you to fill the role that you have in mind, it might be time for a change. Those who are financially organized enough to feel independent may be more likely to seek out something that is a better fit than those who badly need every paycheck.

No Money Needed

This may be the purest definition of what it is to be financially independent. If you have enough money to completely stop earning an income while still maintaining your quality of life, you can safely say that you are financially independent at this time.

That doesn?t mean you have to stop working, of course ? you may like what you do and wish to continue. However, you are free to pack it in because of the wealth you have accumulated. It should go without saying that this is a very difficult standard to achieve.

Living a Debt-Free Life

Our last definition might be the easiest one to reach, although that doesn?t mean it will be easy for everyone. To some, financial independence may mean nothing more than not having any debts to your name.

Sure, you still have to work regularly to keep up with your bills, but you aren?t spending any money on interest and all of your possessions are truly your own. It is easy to see why people would aspire to reach this level of financial standing.

It is a good feeling to know that you don?t owe anyone any money, and your budget will probably look a lot better each month without having any debt payments to make.

If you have a dream of becoming financially independent, start here and hopefully you can work your way toward one of the two definitions above.


What does financial independence mean to you? Which definition resonates most with you?


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Should You Allow Your Kid to Get a Part-time Job?

Should You Allow Your Kid to Get a Part-time Job?

Should You Allow Your Kid to Get a Part-time Job?Whether or not you require your teenager to work or not is specific to each family. While some parents lean towards the side of focusing solely on academics, many others choose to have their kids get a part-time job.

In many cases, teenagers themselves opt for a position in the real world in order to earn money for the items that are important to them. It can be difficult to know which path, job or no job, is more beneficial in your kids teen years. So, if you?re debating on whether or not to let your kid apply, consider these three factors.

Time Management

One of the biggest factors you should consider before allowing your kid to get a job is their time management skills. Having a part-time job in itself can teach your child important skills in managing their time, as they?ll have to balance school, work, homework, and a social life.

This can be an invaluable skill once they reach college and adulthood. On the other hand, you should take into consideration your teen?s capacity. If school is already a struggle or something that takes up a lot of their time, be sure to weigh the pros and cons in the event that a part-time job could hinder their academics.

Important Life Skills

Once school is officially over, work is simply a fact of life. Hence, having a part-time job can help your kids learn some important life skills they?ll continue to use for years.

Apart from actually learning the value of work, applying for a job itself will teach your child how to prepare an application and resume, how to interview, and get along with co-workers and customers.

Furthermore, depending on the job, they could even acquire computer, customer service, and even more specialized skills that could help them in the future.

Ability to Manage Money

When you?re a kid, it?s not too often that you have a significant amount of money to spend. Working a job, however, will give your teen income that they?ll then have to decide how to use.

One of the biggest benefits of a part-time job is the fact that it?ll teach your kids what it means to get a paycheck and manage their money well. Moreover, they?ll learn the importance of spending and saving and likely be more cautious with their funds because they had to work hard to earn it.

While school should no doubt be the top priority in your children?s lives, there is value to be had in working a part-time job when you?re younger. In the end, you have to decide together what the best option is for your family.

And whether your teenager has the capacity to do so during the school year or finds a job come summer, the real life experience and job skills they gain from doing so, only serves to prepare them for their future.


Did you have a part-time job growing up? What are some part-time jobs that could work well with their school schedule?


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